Obesity-related adipose tissue (AT) dysfunction, in particular subcutaneous AT (SCAT) lipolysis, is characterized by catecholamine resistance and impaired atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) responsiveness. It remains unknown whether exercise training improves (non-)adrenergically mediated lipolysis in metabolically compromised conditions. We investigated the effects of local combined α-/β-adrenoceptor blockade on abdominal SCAT lipolysis in lean insulin sensitive (IS) (n=10), obese IS (n=10), and obese insulin resistant (IR) (n=10) men. Obese men participated in a 12-week exercise training intervention to determine the effects on SCAT lipolysis. Abdominal SCAT extracellular glycerol concentration and blood flow (ATBF) were investigated using microdialysis, with/without locally combined α-/β-adrenoceptor blockade at rest, during low-intensity endurance-type exercise and post-exercise recovery. In obese IR men, microdialysis was repeated after exercise intervention. The exercise-induced increase in SCAT extracellular glycerol was more pronounced in obese IS compared with lean IS men, possibly resulting from lower ATBF in obese IS men. The exercise-induced increase in extracellular glycerol was blunted in obese IR compared with obese IS men, despite comparable local ATBF. Abdominal SCAT extracellular glycerol was markedly reduced (remaining ~60% of exercise-induced SCAT extracellular glycerol) following the local α-/β-adrenoceptor blockade in obese IS but not in IR men, suggesting reduced catecholamine-mediated lipolysis during exercise in obese IR men. Exercise training did not affect (non-)adrenergically mediated lipolysis in obese IR men. Our findings showed a major contribution of non-adrenergically-mediated lipolysis during exercise in male abdominal SCAT. Furthermore, catecholamine-mediated lipolysis may be blunted during exercise in obese IR men but could not be improved by exercise intervention, despite an improved metabolic profile and body composition.

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